Saturday, 17 November 2018

Let's Brew - 1939 Barclay Perkins IPA

One for the style purists today: a typical Southern English IPA.

Just a few months before WW II kicked off, in June 1939, this Barclay’s IPA rolled out of the Park Street Brewery. Well, probably not roll, more clink out. It was an exclusively bottled beer.

IPA (bottling) as it appear on the records, was apparently quite a new beer, only appearing in the early 1930s. A revved up version of the older XLK (bottling), which had an OG of 1039º. The two, obviously, were parti-gyled together.

The recipe for Barclay’s Perkins Pale Ales hadn’t changed much since the mid-1920s. Pale malt, PA malt, flaked maize and invert sugar. Originally No. 2, but sometime after 1936 that changed to No. 3. Along with the caramel, it makes for quite a dark beer. Darker than it should be. The log gives the colour as 10.

The hopping is reasonable, with mostly hops from the most recent season. The third from the 1937 season had been kept in a cold store, so wouldn’t have deteriorated much. Barclay Perkins usually dry-hopped their Pale Ales, except those intended for bottling.

Sad to think this is the precursor to watery post-war Light Ale.


1939 Barclay Perkins IPA
pale malt 7.00 lb 72.77%
flaked maize 1.00 lb 10.40%
No. 3 invert sugar 1.50 lb 15.59%
caramel 1000 SRM 0.12 lb 1.25%
Fuggles 150 mins 0.75 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.75 oz
Goldings 30 mins 0.75 oz
OG 1044
FG 1013.5
ABV 4.03
Apparent attenuation 69.32%
IBU 29
SRM 17
Mash at 150º F
After underlet 154º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 90 minutes
pitching temp 150º F
Yeast Wyeast 1099 Whitbread ale

Friday, 16 November 2018

It's that time of year again

I love working 80%. I get every Friday off. Brilliant. A whole day with nothing to do.

Not that I do nothing. A god time to be getting on with all the crap I can't be arsed to do in the evening. Yoday, that meant rattling off my seasonal book, Yule Logs!!!!! The one without any words, just pictures of brewing records. Very saucy.

This is the earliest I've ever had it finished. Usually I have to rush it at the last minute. It took way longer than expected to upload. 40 minutes to upload the source file each time. I say each time because twice one of the images was buggered up.The another 10 minutes for the file to be formatted by Lulu and me to down load the pdf to check.

For fucking ever it took. I'd never have got it done in the evening.

Three cheers for working part time. And buy the book. The perfect lmited-edition Chistmas present for any beer obsessive. Or one of my many other books.







Beer zoning

Remember me mentioning in the comments the recipe for 1916 Barclay Perkins XLK (Watney), that during WW II brewery's supplied each other's pubs to save on transport? Beer zoning is what it was called.

And here are some more details:

"Questions on Beer Zoning
"Evening Post" Reporter
Speculation is rife as to what may happen when the details of the Beer Zoning Scheme have been hammered out by the Ministry of Food in collaboration with the brewers.

As outlined In "The Yorkshire Evening Post" last night, the aim of the authorities is two-fold: to avoid long-distance haulage and secure fairer distribution. To this end, the country is being divided into regions, Yorkshire being allotted six areas, with Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield and York (for the East Riding) the principal centres.

Brewers whom I consulted to-day were unable to throw any light what is likely to happen. The whole situation is honeycombed with question marks.

In the first place, is conservation of transport intended apply only to road haulage, to save petrol and rubber, does the term embrace rail facilities?

This is important, having regard, for example, to the demand for Burton and Edinburgh beer in Leeds and other West Riding centres, and to the popularity some of the Yorkshire firms' products in Blackpool during the hollday season.

Again, will Leeds brewers, who have a considerable interest at stake, be debarred from continuing to send supplies to their own licensed houses Bradford, and vice-versa? On this point, an authority in the trade told me he did not consider likely that a semi-local arrangement of this character would be upset.

The position as it affects bottled beers and stouts, brewed outside the County, also would appear to be in conslderable doubt. All that is certain regards Leeds is that the Leeds taste tor local beverages — and the term "local" can include Tadcaster ale — will let alone."
Yorkshire Evening Post - Wednesday 03 February 1943, page 6.

Interesting how the distinction was being made betwen road and rail transport. Hoping one wouldn't be affected, really. I suspect draught Bass remained nationally available. Guinness surely was. My guesss would be that zoning was particularly aimed at draught beer, which is where most of the weight was. Especially during the war when production of bottled beer was restricted by things like a shortage of bottles.

More to come on beer zoning.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

Joining the dots

A lot of my research is about pulling information together from different sources. Nailing together two sets of information to produce something more useful than either of its constituent parts.

I sometimes wonder what I would have done had I not discovered the Whitbread Gravity Book. It's so packed full of information on other company's beers. Truly a wonderful resource. But there are other Gravity Books, too. Truman, William Younger and Thomas Usher all had ones of their own. Albeit not on quite as grand a scale as Whitbread's. They do provide extra information. Especially in the case of the latter two on Scottish beer.

I came across this price list from the Northampton Brewing Company while performing one of my regular trawls through the newspaper archive looking for "Mild Ale". A strange hobby, but a harmless one.


It's unusual in that in features a bottled Mild Ale, something that wasn't very common. Mild was rarely available in bottled form, though often because it was sold under a different name such as Family Ale or Brown Ale. Though that can't be the case here, as the Brown Ale costs 1d more a pint.

Now this is where I'd be stumped without the Whitbread Gravity Book. What were the relative strengths of Northampton Brewery's Mild Ale and Brown Ale? No problem.

Northampton Brewery, Bass and Worthington 1932 - 1940
Year Brewer Beer Price per pint OG FG ABV App. Atten-uation
1932 Northampton Brewery Brown Ale 1038 1009.8 3.66 74.21%
1935 Northampton Brewery Pale Ale 1032 1008.2 3.08 74.37%
1935 Northampton Brewery Mild Ale 1032 1008.9 2.99 72.19%
1935 Northampton Brewery Jumbo Stout 1043 1024 2.43 44.19%
1950 Northampton Brewery IPA 1046.2 1012.4 4.39 73.16%
1940 Bass Pale Ale 9d 1051.6
1940 Worthington Pale Ale 9d 1055.1
Sources:
Truman Gravity Book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number B/THB/C/252.
Whitbread Gravity book held at the London Metropolitan Archives, document number LMA/4453/D/02/001.

The Brown Ale was quite a bit stronger than the mild Ale, as you can see. What of their other beers? Jumbo Stout is easy, as I have an analysis from about the right date. For IPA, though, I only have one from after the war. But, by looking at that and the BAss and Worthington analyses, I reckon I can make a good guess: low 1050ºs.

I'd expect it to be about the same strength as the Burton versions, as it's just a hlfpenny cheaper for a half pint. Bass and Worthington always sold at a premium price. If you're wondering why the ones in the table are so much cheaper than the ones in the price list, there's a simple explanation. The table has draught versions.

Jumbo Stout, despite it's reasonable OG looks like awful value for money due to the crap degree of attenuation. Which leaves it not really intoxicating.

Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1939 Adnams X Ale

Adnams Mild ended WW I pretty weak. And it didn’t get much stronger, rising from 1026º in 1921 to 1029º in 1923. Where it remained until the outbreak of the next war.

That’s quite a contrast with London, where most Mild Ales between the wars were either 6d beers at around 1043º or 5d beers at around 1037º. Adnams had clearly gone for a 4d beer. Mild Ales of this strength did exist London, but were brewed in tiny quantities. Adnams Mild increased in gravity sometime after WW II, being 1032-1034º in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The grist, with three different types of malt is more complex than in most Mild Ales of the period. It’s also quite dark. Mild only really went dark brown between the wars. But not all Milds. There were still pale and semi-dark versions.

All I know about the hops is that they were English. There’s no record of the variety of year of harvest in the log, unfortunately. I’ve guessed Fuggles.

Through the use of an underlet, effectively a step mash was performed. There are no details of how long the mash was left to rest between the original strike and the underlet. From what I’ve seen at other breweries, this could be between 25 and 90 minutes.


1939 Adnams XX
mild malt 5.00 lb 79.24%
crystal malt 80 L 0.25 lb 3.96%
amber malt 0.25 lb 3.96%
No. 3 invert sugar 0.75 lb 11.89%
caramel 5000 SRM 0.06 lb 0.95%
Fuggles 120 mins 0.50 oz
Fuggles 60 mins 0.25 oz
Fuggles 30 mins 0.25 oz
OG 1029
FG 1006
ABV 3.04
Apparent attenuation 79.31%
IBU 15
SRM 24
Mash at 148º F
After underlet 156º F
Sparge at 163º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast WLP025 Southwold

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Beer or wine

Remember the table in my last post? Obviously not. No-one remembers anything nowadays. Especially me.

I wouldn't be able to remember what I had for breakfast. If I didn't have the same thing every day. Cheese toastie. Today with Emmenthaler. Usually old Gouda. I'm rambling. On with business.

Here's the table I'm going to refer back to. It'll make things easier for us all.

UK Excise and customs revenue from alcoholic drink (£ millions)
Beer Wine Spirits
Year UK Imports total UK Imports total UK Imports total Duty Receipts in Total
1937 57.3 5.4 62.7 0.5 5.1 5.6 31.4 4.8 36.2 104.5
1938 61.2 4.5 65.7 0.5 5.0 5.5 31.1 4.8 35.9 107.1
1939 62.4 3.2 65.6 0.5 4.8 5.3 30.9 4.7 35.6 106.5
1940 75.2 3.6 78.8 0.9 5.7 6.6 34.5 6.2 40.7 126.1
1941 133.5 5.6 139.1 1.6 7.8 9.4 33.9 11.6 45.5 194.0
1942 157.3 7.3 164.6 1.1 3.8 4.9 31.0 15.7 46.7 216.2
1943 209.6 8.0 217.6 1.7 2.4 4.1 49.4 18.2 67.6 289.3
1944 263.2 6.4 269.6 2.1 2.3 4.4 59.6 17.2 76.8 350.8
1945 278.9 8.9 287.8 2.0 2.5 4.5 50.1 13.5 63.6 355.9
1946 295.3 10.8 306.1 2.2 5.0 7.2 51.2 16.9 68.1 381.4
1947 250.4 9.4 259.8 2.2 10.8 13.0 51.6 24.9 76.5 349.3
1948 264.1 9.9 274.0 3.4 15.6 19.0 40.7 42.7 83.4 376.4
1949 294.7 12.6 307.3 3.8 15.7 19.5 46.7 44.1 90.8 417.6
1950 263.1 13.7 276.8 2.8 16.1 18.9 58.7 39.6 98.3 394.0
1951 249.1 13.0 262.1 3.2 18.1 21.3 75.8 38.7 114.5 397.9
1952 248.2 12.7 260.9 3.3 17.5 20.8 67.1 29.9 97.0 378.7
Source:
"Drink in Great Britain 1900-1979" by GP Williams and GT Brake, 1980, Edsdall London, page 380.


Though, if you look at the next table, you’ll see that, while the tax revenue on wine trebled between 1939 and 1948, the quantity consumed had fallen considerably, by more than a third. Beer consumption over the same period was up by a quarter. It must be borne in mind that that beer in 1948 was on average about 10 degrees in gravity weaker than in 1939.


UK Consumption of beer and wine 1937-52 (1,000 gallons)
Imported Wines
Year Beer Heavy Light Sparkling British Wines Total Wines % wine
1937      864,000 11,709 3,950 679 5,690 22,028 2.49%
1938      900,000 31,516 3,623 628 6,144 21,910 2.33%
1939      900,000 11,602 3,062 561 6,418 21,645 2.35%
1940      936,000 11,353 2,572 388 6,916 21,228 2.22%
1941      972,000 10,392 1,730 232 6,408 18,763 1.89%
1942   1,080,000 4,623 752 75 3,957 9,407 0.86%
1943   1,080,000 1,705 264 29 3,100 5,098 0.47%
1944   1,116,000 1,166 508 13 2,898 4,585 0.41%
1945   1,152,000 1,400 227 11 2,735 4,373 0.38%
1946   1,224,000 2,723 464 92 2,921 6,200 0.50%
1947   1,080,000 5,282 1,837 329 2,998 10,445 0.96%
1948   1,116,000 7,098 2,145 383 3,899 13,525 1.20%
1949   1,008,000 5,718 1,282 497 2,961 10,458 1.03%
1950      972,000 5,939 1,667 476 3,662 11,754 1.19%
1951      936,000 6,439 2,684 560 4,450 14,133 1.49%
1952      936,000 6,078 3,234 519 4,672 14,503 1.53%
Source:
"Drink in Great Britain 1900-1979" by GP Williams and GT Brake, 1980, Edsdall London, page 381.

Strange how the imports of sparkling wine collapse between 1942 and 1947. It’s almost as if there was a reason why they couldn’t get hold of champagne.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Booze revenue 1937 - 1952

More numbers. What fun.

It’s no surprise that the money raised from alcohol increased during the war. That’s the way UK governments always financed wars. Alcohol is an easy choice since demand is fairly elastic. The table below shows just how much of that came from beer. And how the percentage raised from beer rose from 60% in 1937 to 80% in 1945 and 1946.

Between 1939 and 1947, the revenue from spirits only just more than doubled. While that from beer quadrupled.

You might have expected the income from imported beer to have totally evaporated at the height of the war. There’s a simple reason it didn’t: Guinness. Which continued to export – with some small interruptions you’ll read about later – large quantities of beer to the UK.

There’s an impressive surge in imported wine revenue after 1947. Way higher than the pre-war level.

Please ponder the numbers. As I can't be arsed to explain everything. Stare long enough and they'll make some sort of sense. Or you'll fall into a zombie-like state. That's me most evenings. Get home, staring then zombieing.

UK Excise and customs revenue from alcoholic drink (£ millions)
Beer Wine Spirits
Year UK Imports total UK Imports total UK Imports total Duty Receipts in Total
1937 57.3 5.4 62.7 0.5 5.1 5.6 31.4 4.8 36.2 104.5
1938 61.2 4.5 65.7 0.5 5.0 5.5 31.1 4.8 35.9 107.1
1939 62.4 3.2 65.6 0.5 4.8 5.3 30.9 4.7 35.6 106.5
1940 75.2 3.6 78.8 0.9 5.7 6.6 34.5 6.2 40.7 126.1
1941 133.5 5.6 139.1 1.6 7.8 9.4 33.9 11.6 45.5 194.0
1942 157.3 7.3 164.6 1.1 3.8 4.9 31.0 15.7 46.7 216.2
1943 209.6 8.0 217.6 1.7 2.4 4.1 49.4 18.2 67.6 289.3
1944 263.2 6.4 269.6 2.1 2.3 4.4 59.6 17.2 76.8 350.8
1945 278.9 8.9 287.8 2.0 2.5 4.5 50.1 13.5 63.6 355.9
1946 295.3 10.8 306.1 2.2 5.0 7.2 51.2 16.9 68.1 381.4
1947 250.4 9.4 259.8 2.2 10.8 13.0 51.6 24.9 76.5 349.3
1948 264.1 9.9 274.0 3.4 15.6 19.0 40.7 42.7 83.4 376.4
1949 294.7 12.6 307.3 3.8 15.7 19.5 46.7 44.1 90.8 417.6
1950 263.1 13.7 276.8 2.8 16.1 18.9 58.7 39.6 98.3 394.0
1951 249.1 13.0 262.1 3.2 18.1 21.3 75.8 38.7 114.5 397.9
1952 248.2 12.7 260.9 3.3 17.5 20.8 67.1 29.9 97.0 378.7
Source:
"Drink in Great Britain 1900-1979" by GP Williams and GT Brake, 1980, Edsdall London, page 380.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

UK pubs 1937 - 1952

Time for some more lovely numbers. Moving along a little, now I've done with my WW I book.

Looking at the numbers, it might look strange that there were more fully-licensed pubs in 1947 than 1939. But on closer observation, this is obviously due to beer houses (in column three) converting to full licenses. The total number of pub on-licences in reality declines from 73,572 to 73,232.

I'm surprised the decline wasn't greater. Hundreds of pubs were badly damaged or destroyed by bombing during the war. And rebuilding was virtually impossible. You needed a licence to carry out building works and these were mostly limited to what as considered essential.

The number of clubs was more volatile, dropping by a couple of thousand during the war, returning to its pre-war level in 1947, then zooming upwards from there.

Less explicable is what happened in Scotland, where the number of on-licences for pubs and hotels increased by 48 between 1939 and 1947. Hotel had a specific meaning in Scotland. They were the only licensed outlets allowed to open on Sundays. In addition to offering accommodation, they also operated as pubs.

The increase is all in hotels. Where did they come from? They can't have been all pubs becoming hotels because the numbers don't tally.

Though the total number of licences increased in Scotland, the number of off-licences declined. While in England and Wales, it increased. Again, explanation have I none.

More investigation needed.

LICENSED PREMISES (ENGLAND AND WALES, AND SCOTLAND), 1937-52
England and Wales Scotland
Year Full All Drinks On-licences Beer/Wine  Regist. Clubs Off-Licences Total Public Houses Hotels  Regist. Clubs Off-Licences Total
1937 56233 18093 16563 22109 112998 4214 1491 687 2475 8867
1938 56173 17747 16951 22052 112923 4203 1506 700 2435 8844
1939 56112 17460 17362 21995 112929 4177 1524 695 2404 8800
1940 56047 17318 16463 21884 111712
1941 56961 17249 15864 21756 110830 4125 1509 661 2281 8576
1942 55901 17191 15682 21653 110427 4101 1501 649 2247 8498
1943 55868 17137 15732 21628 110365 4098 1502 651 2214 8465
1944 55856 17109 15678 21610 110253 4105 1498 657 2218 8478
1945 55875 17085 15590 21599 110149 4080 1506 681 2188 8455
1946 56009 17017 16496 21693 111215 4084 1565 740 2204 8593
1947 56305 16927 17470 21848 112550 4103 1646 773 2257 8779
1948 56850 16534 18370 22025 113779 4111 1690 834 2313 8948
1949 58140 15282 18962 22218 114602 4115 1709 884 2342 9050
1950 59054 14429 19221 23532 161236 4118 1740 912 2366 9136
1951 59757 13664 19511 23669 116601 4123 1768 944 2380 9215
1952 60333 13035 19903 23717 116988 4111 1770 966 2387 9234
Source:
"Drink in Great Britain 1900-1979" by GP Williams and GT Brake, 1980, Edsdall London, page 380.